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Was Robinho a Blues disaster?

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02 Sep 2010 10:24:29

| Submit Comments| Comments (79)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapRobinhoRobinho arrived at Manchester City amidst huge fanfare two years ago. The Blues have now taken a whopping £14m hit on the British record £32.5m signing from Real Madrid who has now moved on to AC Milan. Here M.E.N. Sport's Peter Spencer argues the signing of the Brazilian was a disaster while Mike Whalley reckons he was a catalyst as mega-bucks City aim to bring glory to Middle Eastlands. Yes - Robinho was a disaster Didn't the already shellshocked Blue Mooners gulp when then boss Mark Hughes was ambushed by journalists after he'd just finished a round of golf at Worsley and told he'd signed Robinho. Hughes must have thought it was April 1 not September 1 such was his expression as the TV cameras zoomed in. He'd barely become accustomed to the often bizarre life of managing of a club under the control of a publicity hungry Dr Thaksin Shinawatra when the controversial ex-Thai prime minister sold to the Abu Dhabi Group. That made City the richest club in the world but the worry was that the new Arab owners were going to use the Blues as a rich man's plaything... and that Robinho was the best and most expensive toy available. Hughes is too long in the tooth to say he didn't know what the journos were on about and merely grinned and went along with the questions about the 2008 signing that stunned world football. The bombshell signing made some fans sit-up and wonder about City's ambition being real while others shook their heads bewildered about the wisdom of introducing a marque superstar untested in the ultra-aggressive Premier League. Robinho is certainly not a Hughes type of player in the mould of one of his favourites Craig Bellamy for instance, and most definitely not in the plans of his successor Roberto Mancini. Do the maths. Robinho cost £32.5m but with wages that rocketed to over £45m, he made 53 appearances and his 16 goals can be worked out at almost £3m a goal. That must have made him the most expensive football misfit ever but even these record-breaking figures will have little impact on owner Sheikh Mansour. What he and the executives he's appointed to run the club have learnt from the Robinho disaster is knee-jerk signings don't work. Contrast the Robinho signing to that of James Milner from Villa, which was the most protracted on-off saga of the summer running right through the World Cup. City did their homework, targeted their man in conjunction with the manager and made an offer many thought was too high ? but stuck with it and landed perhaps the most versatile Premier league star. Robinho lifted the crowd, sold quite a few named shirts but in the cold light of day after a highly promising start failed to deliver. I can't remember him getting in a decent tackle and the fact his performances away from home were in marked contrast to those at Eastlands says it all. I leave you with this thought. Would it not have been better to spend the £32m on say three or even four quality players rather than a player so brilliant   for Brazil who so badly under performed for City.


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